J10.2 Assessment of the agricultural impacts of climate change in the Southeastern United States: Decision support tools and uncertainty

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 8:45 AM
612 (Washington State Convention Center)
Alex C. Ruane, NASA/GISS, New York, NY; and R. M. Horton, J. M. Winter, and C. Rosenzweig

We present initial results from two ongoing projects examining the role of climate information in assessments of the agricultural impacts of climate change in the Southeastern United States. Working with the Southeast Climate Consortium at more than 200 meteorological stations across Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, climate scenarios are generated that capture three types of climate changes in: 1) mean seasonal climate; 2) interannual variability from the El Nino / Southern Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation; and 3) the distribution of daily events including extreme rainfall and temperature. Scenarios are generated from 16 global climate models contributed for the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report and the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP), and draw upon historical station observations and patterns drawn from the NCEP North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). These scenarios drive the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) biophysical process crop models for soybeans, corn, peanuts and cotton to inform decision support tools for farmers and policy-makers in the region.

In addition to an initial comparison of projected regional impacts, we will present a comparison between the relative importance of the three types of climate scenarios described above across different regions and crops. To test the reliability of impacts projections, a test region along the Florida Panhandle and coastal Alabama is also subjected to additional uncertainty analysis, investigating the sensitivity of projected impacts to options in the selection of baseline climate data, impacts assessment approach, and the generation of future scenarios.

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